does a battery grip help or hinder your shots?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by salacious, Apr 30, 2013.

  1. salacious macrumors 6502a

    May 15, 2011
    i just wanted to ask this maybe pointless but opinion based question.

    Does having a battery grip (my camera is a t3i) help your shots or make them worse, iv not thought of this before and was just wondering if people prefer them with or without, does having the grip on help weigh your shots so its more stable, or does it hurt your hand and you prefer shooting without it?

    all handheld shots only, i dont think a tripod is relevant in these scenarios even though the extra weight may help stabilise the camera.
  2. Arcsylver macrumors member

    Oct 6, 2011
    Chicago, IL
    When handholding the extra weight will not really make it more stable. The grip just adds more battery capacity as well as a molded grip and secondary shutter button for shooting in portrait orientation.

    Most people I know tend to say that the battery grip makes carrying the camera more tiring due to the extra weight. As well as making your arms more likely to show fatigue when holding the camera up in shooting position for prolonged periods or repetitive shooting.
  3. TheReef, Apr 30, 2013
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2013

    TheReef macrumors 68000


    Sep 30, 2007
    NSW, Australia.
    I find a grip makes shooting with larger lenses easier, it gives you more camera to hold and it just feels really nice. Really nice.

    My fingers have more room (not squished up) and the load is better spread between them, so my fingers get less tired. And yes it helps with stabilisation to a degree.

    It can become heavy, you can always leave only 1 battery in the grip to reduce the impact.
    It also depends on your build and the camera.

    It may not have a huge impact on your pictures, but anything that makes taking pictures more comfortable and enjoyable is a good thing in my opinion.

    Anyway there's my very scientific 2 cents.
  4. ijohn.8.80 macrumors 65816


    Jul 7, 2012
    Adelaide, Oztwaylya.
    I had one on my T3/1100D because of it being so dainty and that I'd take so many pictures in one outing. With my 60D I personally don't need one, I just carry an extra battery. In all seriousness it's an individual response basis. Some have huge hands and need it, some like the extra weight, maybe it feels and looks more like a semi-pro camera then. Go to a camera store and stick one on to see if it works for you, hold it for a while so you get a good feel of the extra weight. Adding a grip is not that much weight, just an extra battery worth plus the grip body, which is marginal by the way, so you are maybe adding 300 grams extra. If you have a heavy 1.5 Kg lens on then every gram counts obviously.
  5. soco macrumors 68030


    Dec 14, 2009
    Yardley, PA
    I've recently put one onto my T3 and I have to say I agree with those who say to each his own.

    For me, I also have fairly large hands and long fingers, so it's a very welcome addition. I feel like it helps with stabilizing, but then again I'm familiar with placebo effects. So who knows?

    I usually just keep the one battery in it as well, because as has been said, the added weight becomes quite noticable on long shoots.

    I bought this bugger here, and I quite enjoy it.
  6. Outrigger macrumors 68000


    Dec 22, 2008
    Just got one for my 7D a few days ago. I like to do more portrait shoots and I find when not using a grip, I have to contort my hand to press the shutter a bit. Still getting used to using the grip in portrait mode but I do have to say that it is making a difference in how I shoot. One thing like most people have said, it does make it bigger and not its much more snug when in my bag.
  7. snberk103 macrumors 603

    Oct 22, 2007
    An Island in the Salish Sea
    I've always felt that the added weight can help with the stability of the camera... if you use it right. One the one hand the added weight gives the camera more mass, which absorbs somewhat the tiny tremors in your hands and the mirror slap. On the other hand, the added weight can tire out your arms and shoulders - causing more tremors. You should be able to hand-hold your camera by perching your elbow on your chest (or belly) so that the weight of the camera goes straight down to your body and is not being solely borne by your arms and shoulders. I also adjust the neck strap so that when I wrap it 2 or 3 times around my wrist/hand I can mash my face up against the back of the camera and push it outwards. This makes the neck strap taut... so now I am pushing against my neck. This absorbs a lot of camera shake and I can easily shoot a couple shutter speeds slower than the rule of thumb.

    In photo school one of the instructors brought 3 sets of binoculars - small, large, extra-large as a demonstration. We looked through the small one set and noticed the 'sway' of the subject as our hands moved - which was amplified by the extra magnification. We looked through the large set and found it very difficult to keep the subject in view due to hand tremors. Then we used the extra-large Soviet WWII era binoculars which weighed 3x what the large set weighed. We all figured that the magnification would make it impossible to keep the subject in view with the amplification of the hand tremors. It was the opposite, in fact. The sheer mass of the binoculars absorbed much of the tremors, and you were forced to hold them correctly - arm(s) perched on your body. After that we then went back to the merely 'large' set and learned that if you held it properly they could also be very steady.

    After that demonstration I became of fan of big heavy cameras - held properly.

    For some cameras there is a specialty accessory that allows you add a thick padded hand strap that runs from one of the neck strap lugs to the tripod socket. I had a Mamiya 645 (a big beastie) with this feature, and you could walk around all day with the camera dangling from your hand. This a Canon example.
  8. fireman32 macrumors 6502a

    Aug 30, 2010
    Raleigh, NC
    I will never shoot without my grip. For me having large hands its great for portrait shots and to me it feels more stable. Plus I love having the extra battery power when I am out shooting.
  9. ocabj macrumors 6502a


    Jul 2, 2009
    I would only get the grip if you shoot a lot in portrait orientation. Shooting portrait orientation with no grip and using the standard shutter button on the top of the camera forces you to bring your shooting hand and arm higher than necessary. You'll be "chicken-winging" your shooting arm.

    Having the shutter button on the grip keeps you're shooting hand+arm in a more comfortable position.

    Yes, weight can be an issue. If you're just doing street photography and what not, you'll probably opt to run without the grip.

    Of course, the grip can easily be removed, so you can always get one for your studio or location shoots, then take it off for general purpose, walking-around photography.

    Shot of me in action by ocabj, on Flickr
  10. ctyhntr macrumors 6502


    Jul 21, 2010
    For me, I put on or leave off the battery grip to make the camera more comfortable in my hands. When an opportunity for a shot comes up, you'll don't want to fumble around, just bring up the camera to take the shot.

    If I have a heavy lens like the 70-200 f2.8, then the battery grip helps with the balance and gives me more places to hold. Whereas if I want to shoot discretely, not draw attention to myself, and or not lug a heavy camera then I leave it off.

    I like my tripod to be as stable as possible, so I usually leave the battery grip off as it makes it more top heavy.
  11. phrehdd macrumors 68040


    Oct 25, 2008
    Skipping over the battery facet of the item and just for a moment considering it a grip - you really need to consider a few things:

    1) How easy is it to access buttons on the back of the camera
    2) Is the grip comfortable in your hands in general
    3) Does the additional shutter (if the grip has one) easy access or easier than without in portrait mode (vertical)
    4) Do larger or heavier lenses balance better with or without
    5) Do your hands get sweaty and if so, does the grip help you hold on
    6) Though you don't normally use a tripod, will the grip cause any issues if you do.
    7) Battery swap - is it easier or more difficult with the grip on

    The above may seem obvious but in truth many people never take the time to think out their equipment. For me, one of the very first things I buy with specific cameras is a grip for all the above reasons AND certainly to avoid having to switch out batteries often. Some of the lenses I use are relatively large whether it is length or width and the grip helps immensely.

    My days of using grips goes back to film days when they were motor drives. I still consider on digital cameras grips (depends on maker/model) to be a great accessory.
  12. salacious thread starter macrumors 6502a

    May 15, 2011
    its interesting to see different opinions, i think il have a 2 day photo brawl and do one day without the grip and one day with, see if i can tell the difference, i have small hands but they are wide which causes problems you dont even want to know about lol

    iv not used the camera without a grip for ages so it will be interesting to test the difference
  13. twitch31 macrumors regular

    Feb 12, 2013
    I have a grip for each of my 2 main cameras and I hate them both, I should sell them. They just make a camera bigger than it needs to be.
  14. Padaung macrumors 6502


    Jan 22, 2007
    I think a big benefit of cameras that can have the grip removed is that the grip is useful at times and a less suitable in others.

    I use the grip all the time when shooting a wedding, it certainly helps create less strain on my wrist (which I injured playing sport and has never been as strong since) during the day when shooting lots of portraits, especially shooting portraits with a heavy lens attached.

    However, on holiday I take the grip of to make the camera lighter and less bulky.

    Horses for courses and all that!
  15. nburwell macrumors 601


    May 6, 2008
    I had a grip on all my cameras from the 20D to the 5DII. When I purchased the 5DIII, I decided to forego the grip. For me, I did not gain any benefits having the grip since my camera is mounted on a tripod 98% of the time. If you do a lot of portrait work and you shoot in portrait orientation, then I could see a grip benefiting you. The extra battery power it gives you is nice, but I always have a back-up battery on me anyway.
  16. ctyhntr macrumors 6502


    Jul 21, 2010
    To me, the battery grip is just another tool in my camera kit, just like a speedlight or lens. You wouldn't mount a speedlite on your camera if you were shooting in bright daylight, but bring it out when conditions call for it. Same with the battery grip. Other posters have cited a long list advantages and disadvantages from their experiences.
  17. Designer Dale macrumors 68040

    Designer Dale

    Mar 25, 2009
    Folding space
    I liked having a grip on my dainty XSi but once I moved up to a more substantial camera, a 7D, I never missed it. I keep a spare battery charged up and that's all I need. But then again I'm a tripod shooter.

  18. mustang_dvs macrumors 6502a


    Feb 9, 2003
    Durham, NC
    I've used a grip on every EOS body I've owned, since I picked up an EOS 3. (The only EOS that didn't have a grip was my Elan IIe.)

    I have relatively small hands, for someone who's 6 foot, but never have had a problem.

    Plus, it's the only way to attach an E2 hand strap to an EOS body.

    I tend to scoff at anyone who complains about the weight of a plastic body dSLR with a grip. I frequently do 4-6 hour shoots with a 1D body, handheld with the 70-200 f/2.8 and have shot enduro races, with 1D bodies and a Sigma 50-500 f/4-6.3 and I've never had a problem with fatigue.
  19. salacious thread starter macrumors 6502a

    May 15, 2011
    ok so for the first time in like months i took the grip off and decided to take my daughter out on a little walk, i have to say, the weight difference was very noticable, my camera felt like a new one, it was easier for me to take shots, as i was holding my daughters hand to shoot one handed was essential for me, and with aperture priority on and auto iso this was accomplished, i even managed to get a pic of a bee..

    shooting with a grip has its advantages, but for on the fly shooting, i think from now on il shoot without the grip and carry the batteries instead.
  20. Prodo123 macrumors 68020


    Nov 18, 2010
    It gives more room to grab onto on my T2i. Also, the extra weight does act as a counterbalance, especially with my 70-200.
  21. OreoCookie macrumors 68030

    Apr 14, 2001
    Sendai, Japan
    I've had a grip for my D80 and I liked the feel, it made the camera more balanced and gave me (for my intents and purposes) infinite battery life. I don't mind the extra weight, but I found there was a surprising side effect: most people (e. g. on the street) immediately categorized me as a professional photographer* (especially when I attached my 80-200 mm bazooka zoom). Some of them became more shy, others asked me to delete their photograph.
  22. soco macrumors 68030


    Dec 14, 2009
    Yardley, PA
    It's funny (maybe not funny, but ironic?) because I've begun to take up street photography, and since I have, I've come to shoot more and more without my grip purely for the sake of invisibility.

    Oh well lol $25 well spent anyways.
  23. mustang_dvs macrumors 6502a


    Feb 9, 2003
    Durham, NC
    Cover the manufacturer's name and any shiny badges on the camera with gaffer's tape -- it's an old doc photography tip that makes the camera far less noticeable.
  24. soco macrumors 68030


    Dec 14, 2009
    Yardley, PA
    I have read this. Still need to Google "gaffer's tape" though lol
  25. salacious thread starter macrumors 6502a

    May 15, 2011
    well its interesting really how people perceive you, i think the best way in england to take pics without anyone really being bothered is to wear shorts regardless of the weather, and a sun hat with sunglasses around your neck, this way you just look like a holiday maker.

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